NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
“Transports readers into a world few Americans know” —Washington Post
A timely new novel of stunning humanity and tension: a contemporary love story set on the Turkish border with Syria.
Haris Abadi is a man in search of a cause. An Arab American with a conflicted past, he is now in Turkey, attempting to cross into Syria and join the fight against Bashar al-Assad's regime. But he is robbed before he can make it, and is taken in by Amir, a charismatic Syrian refugee and former revolutionary, and Amir's wife, Daphne, a sophisticated beauty haunted by grief. As it becomes clear that Daphne is also desperate to return to Syria, Haris's choices become ever more wrenching: Whose side is he really on? Is he a true radical or simply an idealist? And will he be able to bring meaning to a life of increasing frustration and helplessness? Told with compassion and a deft hand, Dark at the Crossing is an exploration of loss, of second chances, and of why we choose to believe--a trenchantly observed novel of raw urgency and power.
“Promises to be one of the most essential books of 2017” —Esquire
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Set on the war-ravaged border of Syria and Turkey, Elliot Ackerman's Dark at the Crossing is an unflinching, profoundly moving exploration of modern warfare. This unforgettable novel—a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award—provides an intimate portrait of an Iraqi-American man's struggle to find meaning in the midst of chaos and justify his role in a conflict that challenges his humanity at every turn.
The second novel from Ackerman (Green on Blue) presents a stark and multifaceted portrait of the civil war in Syria. After working as an interpreter for a Special Forces unit during the Iraq War in exchange for five years in America and citizenship for him and his sister, Iraq-born Haris Abadi travels to the Turkish border with Syria in hopes of joining the fight against President Bashar al-Assad's repressive regime. But the border is closed. Then his American passport and possessions are stolen, and Haris is forced to remain in Gaziantep, Turkey. There, he finds shelter with Amir and Amir's wife, Daphne two Syrian refugees who fled their homeland after their daughter disappeared in a bomb blast that also destroyed their apartment building. The more time Haris spends with the couple, the more he learns about their past Amir's former ties to the revolution and Daphne's fervent belief that their daughter is still alive. Haris's quest for a cause to believe in takes a deadly turn when Daphne asks him to accompany her to Aleppo in secret to uncover what actually happened to her daughter. Flashbacks to Haris's experiences during the Iraq War provide context and motive for his restless searching. Ackerman's station in Istanbul, where he has covered the Syrian civil war since 2013 plus five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan aptly inform this timely and unsettling novel.